The book of Proverbs is said to be “short statements of the long experiences of life.” The key word in Proverbs is “wisdom.” We study Proverbs to get wisdom for the circumstances of life, that we may keep ourselves from evil. (Proverbs 14:27) This book is God’s instruction for His people telling them how to deal with parents, children, friends, neighbors and even to beware of certain people.
Solomon is the main author. That is why some call it the “Proverbs of Solomon.” (I Kings 4:32) Remember Solomon was the wisest man who has ever lived. (see I Kings 3:5-9; 4:29-31, 34; 10:1-13, 24) Some of these proverbs may have been someone else’s, but Solomon sought out these great truths and put them in The Book of Proverbs. (Ecclesiastes 12:9)
Part of Proverbs (chapters 25-29) was put together by the scribes of King Hezekiah. We have no information who Agur (chapter 30) or Lemuel (31:1) are, but both are identified with Solomon. Some believe that these names are other names for “Solomon.”
Solomon has “seen it all,” and has even experienced a lot of it. This wise man is trying to warn us and assure us; “We need wisdom – with all you are getting – get wisdom”; not earthly wisdom, although it does help some with life’s problems; but wisdom that is from above. Again, I remind you, Proverbs is “short sentences from long experiences.” It tells us, at the very start, (Proverbs 1:2-7) “to know” (verse 2), “to receive” (verse 3), “to give subtily” (verse 4 discretion, wisdom). It says a wise man will hear, then verse 7 tells us how it begins.
Some of the verses give you a positive thought – “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,” followed by a negative thought, – “but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” In some cases a verse is positive, but the next is negative. (see Proverbs 4:23-24) But let us not get so deep about who wrote it, why or how it was written. But let us take our time, study each verse and learn how to face the circumstances of life. You will find, if you open your heart and allow the Spirit of God to speak to your heart, that the only way you can face life’s problems is to get wisdom, and wisdom comes through Jesus Christ the Saviour. God’s true wisdom always first points you to “…the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) Then, this heavenly wisdom points you to God’s Word for instruction, God’s Spirit for power and strength. (Proverbs 3:5-7)
Let us cry out for wisdom, for wisdom cries out to us. (Proverbs 1:20; 2:1-6; 8:1-4) “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;” (Proverbs 2:10) “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.” (Proverbs 3:13)
Let us hear the instructions of our Father. Let us live these instructions out in our life… The following verses should be memorized:
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) (also Psalms 37:23; 57:1-2; Philippians 1:6)
Your prayer should be: “Help me to listen, speak Lord through thy precious Word, thy servant needs your wisdom.”
Make it a habit to read one chapter from Proverbs every day. You will read through the entire book in one month. Read it over and over and over again.
Please answer all questions and return to your Rock of Ages chaplain or mail to the address below:
Rock of Ages Ministries P.O. Box 2308 Cleveland, TN 37320
“The Book of Wisdom”
KEY VERSE: Proverbs 9:10 – “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”
THEME: There are ten themes in the Book of Proverbs:
DATE: 800 B.C.
1. A Good Name (10:7)
4. Marriage (5:15)
7. Self-Control (16:32)
10. Words and the Tongue (15:1)
3. Business Matters (11:1) 6. Wisdom (3:13-16)
9. Friendship (17:17)
Proverbs Page 1
WRITER: Solomon is given credit for writing most of the Book of Proverbs. Solomon was: a Philosopher, a Scientist of Great Knowledge, an Architect of the Temple, a King in the Political Realm, an Author and Poet, a Businessman with Vast Holdings, a Preacher.
Written: Solomon wrote most of the Proverbs and is credited as being the chief editor (Proverbs 1; 25:1); however, some are attributed to wise men (22:17), others to Hezekiah’s men (25:1), some to Agur (30:1), and still others to King Lemuel and his mother (31:1).
The Book: Number in Bible – 20th of 66 Books, Number of Chapers – 31, Number of Verses – 915, Number in Order of Writing – 3rd of Five Books of Poetry.
Purpose: To provide a handbook of wisdom which would apply to earthly conditions for the people of God. We have Divine laws, Divine history, Divine Psalms, and now, we have Divine wisdom. Proverbs contains a complete body of Divine ethics, politics, and economics, exposing every vice, recommending every virtue, and suggesting rules to govern self in every relationship of life.
Divisions: Chapters 1-10 – Counsel for Young Men; Chapters 11-20 – Counsel for All Men; Chapters 21-31 – Counsel for Kings and Rulers.
Facts: Solomon wrote 3,000 Proverbs (I Kings 4:32). He also wrote 1,005 songs. His wisdom was a direct gift of God (I Kings 3:12). He wrote three of the sixty-six Books of the Bible. He wrote Song of Solomon when he was young and in love. He wrote Proverbs when he was middle-aged and in the zenith of his intellectual power. He wrote Ecclesiastes when he was old, disappointed, and disillusioned.
Outline: 1. Duties of Man to God (1:7; 3:5) 2. Duties to Ourselves (1:10) 3. Duties to Our Neighbor (12:25; 14:31) 4. Duties of Parents and Children (4:1; 22:6) 5. Duties in Civil Life (14:21; 16:14; 18:23; 22:2)
Miscellaneous: Proverbs is intended to do for our daily lives what the Psalms is intended to do for our devotional lives. In the Book of Proverbs, there is a contrast between wisdom and folly (or the wise man and the foolish man). The Jews liken Proverbs to the outer court of the Temple, Ecclesiastes to the Holy Place in the Temple, and the Song of Solomon to the Holy of Holies in the Temple. After three thousand years, the principles of Proverbs still all hold true. The first nine chapters of Proverbs are instructions of Solomon to his son. The rest of Proverbs involve 374 statements that touch every phase of human life.